BRASILIA: “Better late than never,” in the words of FIFA’s Jerome Valcke, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff appears to be getting to grips with the threatened disaster which is Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Sources close to the Palácio do Planalto are suggesting that the sudden appointment of Sports Ministry director Luis Fernandes to the local organising committee is just the first step to focusing full attention of making up for lost time in terms of preparations.

Fernandes attended last week’s meeting in Zurich with senior FIFA executives including Valcke, the world federation’s secretary-general who is its 2014 progress-chaser. He also made a cogent statement at the post-summit press conference explaining his arrival on the scene.

No-one in COL is now considered safe. Even Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, appointed last autumn after the scandal-enforced departure of Orlando Silva, may not last long in his post. Former World Cup-winners Ronaldo and Bebeto, appointed initially as PR fronts for departed and disgraced Ricardo Teixeira, risk being replaced because of a lack of hands-on commercial and constructional expertise and authority.

Ronaldo, who risds conflict of interest concerns over his sports agency work, was brought on board specifically because Teixeira would not countenance working alongside his old enemy Pele.

Stadia redevelopment is behind time including, notably, the iconic Maracana in Rio which may not now be ready, as the Brazilians had always promised, to host the final of next yeaer’s ‘warm-up’ Confederations Cup. Delta, one of the major developers in the construction consortium, quit the project last month.


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